Driveways, pathways and patios have become a huge aspect of home exterior. From choice of material used to complement architectural designs and structure, to colors that reflect individual homeowners style and personality - the art of design is indeed limitless. Many outdoor spaces today are transformed into beautiful and lovely bespoke environments using a variety of materials including Resin Bound Gravel (RBG).

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If you are a homeowner, school owner or business owner with lots of outdoor space, or you simply wish to enhance the aesthetics of your property, you should consider using resin bound gravel as your surfacing material. This is because it provides a sturdy, low-maintenance, pervious and artistic surfacing solution that allows you to go wild with your creative imagination.

What is Resin Bound Gravel (RBG) Paving?

The Resin bound gravel paving applies the science of combining small stones i.e gravels with the use of high-tech resins in order to form a fixed surface that is attractive. Because small stones are being used in laying resin bound gravel, small gaps are created that allow water to drain into the ground, thereby making the surfaces SUDS (sustainable urban drainage systems) compliant. As a matter of fact, this universal paving is highly advantageous because of its durability and low cost maintenance.

Resin bound gravel comes in either one of these three - flint, granite or quartz. Special treatment has to be done on it before the installation process can be fully carried out, which involves in progressive order; grading, washing and finally drying. Following the preparation process for the gravel, it is tumbled (removal of unwanted particles from the gravel) to ensure that the gravel holds properly when resin is added. The last stage then takes place where the gravel is bone dried and packed and moisture free until the installation begins. This process is pivotal for the success of the installation.

Further, resin bound gravel comes in different sizes from 0.1mm to 10mm. The different range of sizes of the gravel are used in varying areas. For example, the 3-8mm gravel sizes are more preferred for driveway installation. Smaller sizes are used to fill in smaller gaps, while the bigger sizes of gravel i.e the 10mm go into tree pits or borders areas.

When choosing Resin Bound Gravel for your driveway or paving certain questions should come to mind:

  1. What design best fits this driveway?
  2. Am I looking to stand out with my design or do I simply want to blend in?
  3. What colours and sizes will stand the test of design time, i.e five years from now will I still appreciate my driveway?

If you can get answers to these questions, you’ll definitely be set on a clear path as to what you want for your driveway in your property.

Resin Bound And Resin Bonded Gravel

Depending on the surface finishing you would like and where you would like the installation of the resin bound aggregates to take place, a careful consideration of Resin bound and Resin bonded would play a great role in determining your choice.

Resin Bonded

The resin bonded surfaces are usually cheap and less tough. They are highly waterproof and have a rougher finish. The process includes the smearing the resin to an existing surface i.e the base, the aggregates are then dispersed on top of it. Stones are left on the surface after hardening has taken place causing the rough surface, making it impossible for people on wheelchairs to move on but suitable for cars and walkways. They are less attractive unlike the resin bound and don’t meet the SUDS standard.

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Resin Bound

Unlike the resin bonded surfaces, they are highly permeable and they meet the SUDS standards. It is an excellent choice, because it provides a more beautiful appeal, and attention to detail is key. The process involves, firstly determining the bespoke design you would like, down to the colour and if need be logos or initial that would be inserted. Certain calculations would be put in place like the right size of gravel, resin formula to be used and weather conditions involved on the day of installation. The result would be a beautiful, flat, smooth and attractive surface suitable for driveways, public areas, pathways and other intended areas.

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Resin Bound Gravel Colours

Resin bound gravel comes in different colours and combinations of colours. In choosing the best resin bound gravel colours, we suggest you get a resin bound sample from a resin bound gravel supplier and place it against the structure of your home or architectural building and look at it to determine which will be ideal. If you need professional help in making a pick, we can help. You can call our helpline to speak to one of our expert installers; Here are some colours you can try.

  1. The Red: For those who appreciate colours and meaning, red resin bound gravel symbolizes and conveys prosperity and good fortune. The red says statement and boldness creating a resin bound driveway so desired.
  2. The Golden Yellow: The beautiful blend of gold and yellow is quite ideal for a quiet and serene environment, when you don’t wish to attract much attention to yourself. And this blend is quite ideal for all styles of architectural design because it tends to fit in easily. This blend can also be combined with other different colours to create your custom-made dream design. This are but of a few of the colour blend you can get, contact a resin bound gravel supplier

What about Ultraviolet (UV) Discolouration?

Aliphatic polyurethane and aromatic polyurethane are the major gravel resin binders used for driveways, paths and public areas, and they offer safety from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Aliphatic polyurethane is a UV stable resin material. It is important to use a UV stable resin because if exposed to the sun, their colours do not fade.

On the other hand, there are non UV stable type resin materials sensitive to oxidation and prone to depletion - aromatic binders or aromatic polyurethane. When exposed to direct sunlight, colors can quickly fade. If choosing a coloured stone that is light in colour, it will be preferable to use a resin that offers UV safety, since your desired choice is to have a light resin finish.

Resin Bound Gravel sizes

As much as they come in different colours, resin bound gravel also comes in several sizes. The size of resin bound gravel ranges from 0.1mm to 10 mm. In most installations, professionals use sizes between 3-8mm. Depending on the size of area to be installed and design, smaller size gravel may be mixed in and used as a fill for smaller gaps. Larger size resin bound gravel up to 10mm can be used in surrounding border areas.

Why choose a Resin Bound Gravel?

Resin Bound gravel when compared to other surfacing systems are far advantageous. Some of the major benefits of using resin bound gravel includes:

  1. Design flexibility - A resin bound gravel can be adapted to any style or design. Resin bound gravel usually comes in different colours that support unimaginable creativity and plethora of design ideas. You can go from beautiful floral designs to classic letters and shapes.
  2. Durability - Resin bound gravel is by far one of the most long lasting surfacing options available today. If installed to standard and maintained properly, resin bound gravel could last as long as 15-20years.
  3. Permeability - Because resin bound gravel surfaces are permeable, they allow water to drain to the sub base making them an ideal choice if you need a driveway that is SuDS compliant. One of the benefits of having an SuDS compliant driveway is that you will not require planning permission to get started.
  4. Slip Resistance - Unlike other surfacing materials, resin bound gravel is slip resistant. When installing resin bound driveways, the surfaces can be non-slip but can be affected with an anti-slip technology for safety during icy or wet weathers.
  5. Easy Maintenance - Resin bound gravel is a low cost maintenance driveway option. This is because it only requires periodic cleaning - simply by sweeping the surface to get rid of dirt or debris. A simple jet wash under low pressures could also restore the shine of your resin driveway.
  6. Frost and UV Resistant - High quality resin materials are usually resistant to frost and ultraviolet light. In which case, when resin bound gravel driveways exposed to UV light from extreme hot temperatures will not change in colour or fade.

Why choose a Resin Bound Gravel?

Our resin bound comparison table will help you understand what makes resin bound gravel a preferred choice for driveways installation

Property Resin Bound Gravel Tarmac Concrete Block paving
Highly durable Yes Average Yes Average
Design flexibility Yes basic Basic basic
Non fade Yes No No No
Permeability Yes No No No
Easy to maintain Yes Yes No Yes
Easy to maintain Yes Yes No Yes
Slip resistant Yes No No No
Weed resistant Yes No No Yes
Frost resistant Yes No No No
Smooth finish Yes Yes No No

How long does a Resin bound Gravel last?

Another potential question that seems to lurk the mind of customers who wish to install the Resin bound gravel in their homes is how long will it last. Unlike the tarmac or asphalt which can be affected by temperature changes (for example in the summer heat it softens and, in the winter, it freezes), or UV light, resin bound gravel is highly durable and stable. When purchasing a resin bound gravel, ensure that your resin bound gravel supplier confirms the durability of the product. Usually, resin bound gravel if properly installed is guaranteed to last for about a 10-year to 25-year period.

Some resin bound driveways will last long without cracks. However, a crack might occur, and the only reason possible is due to the base on which the installation is made. But this can be easily corrected by broadening the crack and filling it with resin-based crack filler, thereby stopping any further cracking from taking place.

What is the best base for Resin Bound Gravel?

As earlier stated, the base for installation of resin bound gravel is quite important to take note of. Some surfaces are not suitable to lay resin bound gravel. For example, brick paving, block paving do not really provide a rock-hard base, causing movement or unsettlement for the base which will ultimately lead to a crack. What surfaces are more suitable?

  1. Concrete: Concrete is a very suitable base for laying of the resin bound, but prior to the installation the concrete must be carefully cleaned and primed using a polymer primer. The importance of the primer is to hold the two surfaces together. In a case where the primer was not laid the two surfaces will fail to adhere and the materials used will be wasted, and the only remedy is to start the project from the beginning.

    Another importance of laying the primer is to prevent delamination between the two surfaces. It also serves as a barricade between the surfaces involved, which stops the concrete from soaking the resin from the stone in the mixture.

    But in a case where the concrete was specifically set for the purpose of laying the resin bound, a minimum of seven days is the allocated time allowed before the commencement of the resin bound. The new set concrete has to be primed to allow the surfaces to adhere.

  2. Tarmac: Like the concrete the tarmac is also a suitable base for the laying of the resin bound. The resin bound can be laid on an existing tarmac surface under certain conditions, and if to be installed on a newly set tarmac a minimum of seven days have to be also allowed.
  3. Grid Systems: The grid system can also serve a suitable base for the resin bound, but it can be very costly in that double the quantity of the resin bound aggregates have to be used for the installation.

If you have any of the above surfaces previously existing on your driveway, and you wish to install a new resin bound gravel driveway, installation is fast and easy.

Note: Sand surfaces are not suitable for laying Resin bound gravel. If you have a sand base, groundwork preparations would be needed to install a sub base prior to installation.

Are Resin Bound Gravel SUSTAINABLE URBAN DRAINAGE SYSTEMS (SUDS) compliant?

Where we live or work can be affected greatly depending on the drainage system that was designed to fit the community we live in. This can largely influence the opportunities and challenges we face from day-to-day engagement. Systems put in place to curb the amount of surface water in terms of flooding, pollution as it affects plants and animals and it’s convenience are generally referred to as Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS).

SUDS are environmentally friendly in that they tend to operate the way nature does. The resin bound is designed to meet the SUDS standard, because it is porous, rainfall or surface water can easily runoff down to the ground, minimizing pollution and the water impact is managed properly.

How to keep Resin Bound Gravel Clean?

In order to maintain the appearance and quality of resin bound gravel, routine upkeep is recommended. If your resin bound is well maintained, chances are its life-span will increase.

You can simply clean the floor by sweeping off any debris, leaves, contaminants and rubbish on the surface of your driveway. While weed growth is not common with resin bound gravel, a normal weed killer could be applied on your surfacing if you notice any weed growth or alternatively, you can pluck off the weed with their roots. Be sure not to make use of oil-based weed killer as the oil component could damage your driveway.

Occasionally, you may require cleaning with water. If a jet washing machine must be used, it is important to keep the pressure really low as high pressure could potentially do more harm than good. Warm water and mild soap may be used to clean resin aggregates, but boiling hot water is not advised.

DIY (Do It Yourself) Resin Bound Kit

If you are looking to cut down on the cost of engaging a professional service for your resin driveway installation, or you’re simply a DIY enthusiast, “resin bound kits” will make it easy for you to install resin bound gravel yourself. Resin bound gravel kits are handy and we mostly recommend it if you just need a simple and quick fix. With resin bound gravel kits, you have the right proportion of resin and gravel needed for the installation, making them more suitable for small areas. The kit comprises two plastic buckets and a plastic bag of desired aggregate.

To successfully use DIY resin bound kit, you would need to at least have some background training. Any mistake made could pose a great challenge to achieving your desired finished design. Resin can be quite tricky to work with an if you have no knowledge whatsoever of how to get started, Here are a few tips for you;

  1. Prepare the base

    • Ensure the type of existing sub base is strong enough for the use being designed for.
    • Make sure the area is free from debris that might contaminate the primer to be used.
    • If possible mark out the area you intend to do the installation of the resin bound.
  2. Mixing

    • This is an important aspect of the step. You should have two extra buckets for this exercise. Transfer about one-third of the total gravel aggregate into a bucket
    • In bucket 1, transfer the resin from your kit into the bucket and mix meticulously until you see uniformity in colour.
    • In bucket 1 where you poured one-third of the gravel aggregate, pour the mixed resin into it and pour the remaining stone on it.
    • Mix the mixture together properly until, making sure all the stones have made contact with the resin mix.
  3. Installing

    • Carefully and slowly pour the mixture over the marked-out area, ensuring its free from debris and dust.
    • Using a trowel or a squeegee or shovel, level the mixture and if any aggregate that looks a bit larger than the rest can be handpicked and thrown away.
    • Note: It takes about 30 minutes approximately for the mix to start to harden, so make sure to speed up your leveling.
    • Finally float the area to make sure the surface finishing is superb.

Need to install a new resin bound gravel?

We are here to help. You can trust the quality workmanship of our specialist resin gravel installers who have completed various projects across the UK.

Our experts are just one call away and will be on hand to render professional advice, talk you through all of the design options, whether you are looking to install resin bonded gravel or resin bound gravel.

To qualify for a free quote and survey, simply complete our contact form with your details or alternatively call our help lines and we'll be in touch to help with your enquiry.

FAQs

How long does resin bound gravel last?

Resin bound gravel paving or driveway, when installed to standard are extremely durable. The lifespan of Resin bound gravel when properly installed is anywhere between 10years to 21years and even more if well maintained. If an inappropriate mix of resin or wrong resin material is used, your resin surface might wear down easily and you’ll begin to notice cracks and loose gravel.

Can weeds grow through resin?

No, resin is usually weed resistant if installed correctly. Weeds cannot grow through the surface of a well installed resin driveway. However if your resin has been wrongly mixed or poorly installed, it might become susceptible to cracks which eventually encourages weed growth.

Is resin bound gravel cheaper than paving?

Yes, resin bound gravel is a cheaper option than block paving. Besides the cost of block paving per m2 being higher than cost of resin bound paving per m2, resin driveways generally work out a less expensive driveway option as they can easily be installed onto any surface, ruling out costs on preparatory work.

Can you do a resin driveway yourself?

Yes, with diy resin bound gravel kits, it’s possible to install your resin driveway yourself. However, we like to advise that resin driveway installation be left to professionals if you are not sure of what you are doing. This is because an inappropriate mix can easily mean that your driveway is left in a worse condition that it was previously.

Can you lay resin on soil?

Simple answer, no. Laying resin bound gravel on soil directly is not advised. If the existing sub base where you want to lay resin bound gravel happens to be plain soil or grass, groundwork preparation will be necessary before installations can be made. Some of the best sub bases for resin bound gravel includes pre existing tarmac, block paving and concrete paving. Ensure you have the area inspected by a professional resin installer to advise whether or not the existing sub base will support the installation.

Can you lay resin bonded gravel on concrete?

Yes, concrete is a very good sub base material on which resin bound surfacing can be laid. Resin bonded gravel can also be laid on a permeable asphalt surface.

Is resin bound gravel expensive?

Essentially, there are two types of resin gravel - resin bound gravel and resin bonded gravel. Resin bound gravel is the more expensive of the two. However, when compared to other types of driveways, resin bound gravel is considered a cheaper and highly durable option.

How do you mix resin bonded gravel?

Mixing is a vital part of resin driveway installation and should not be skipped. When mixing resin bound gravel it is important that you do not cut corners but follow strictly the manufacturer’s guidelines for mixing. The steps for mixing resin include

  1. Keeping the manufacturers instruction in mind, mix the resin in a container laid on a protective surface
  2. Ensure all components of the resin are evenly mixed at the specified speed until it’s uniform

For resin bound gravel

  • Place the dry aggregates or resin bound gravel into a forced action resin mixer
  • The premixed resin is the added to the mixture then you can start your stopwatch
  • Sand is then added to the mix steadily and slowly to ensure consistency

How thick is a resin bound driveway?

When it comes to resin bound systems, as a general rule of thumb, a thickness of 15-25mm is advised. For Resin bonded on the other hand, since it is applied over the aggregate, it is usually a thin layer of about 5mm.

Why is my resin driveway slippery?

The finishing on resin driveway appears very smooth and sleek because resin is mixed together with gravel and other aggregates after which is followed by a smoothing process. As a result, resin driveways can become extremely slippery when wet. However, most proper Resin bound/ resin bonded surfaces installations today are somewhat anti-slip. This is owing to the fact that anti-slip properties like crushed glass and different fine aggregates are usually casted over the surface after the surface before it is fully cured. This reduces its slippery nature.